Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Missed deadlines and legal malpractice

When you engage the services of an attorney, you expect someone who is knowledgeable and experienced, someone you can rely on to take the proper steps and pay attention to detail. It is not too much to ask. 

Unfortunately, some lawyers fail to adhere to the most basic procedures. It could begin with something as simple as a missed deadline, like failing to file court papers or submit claims on time. Such an error could put your case in jeopardy, which in turn may be grounds for a legal malpractice lawsuit.

Calendars and deadlines are common thread in malpractice suits

Legal malpractice can occur in any area of law. It might be related to a personal injury or criminal case. It could be a business deal or real estate transaction. Or an estate planning or investment matter.

According the American Bar Association, the top five types of lawyer malpractice involve (1) failure to know or apply the law, (2) planning and strategy errors, (3) inadequate discovery and investigation, (4) failure to file documents and (5) failure properly to calendar important issues with deadlines.

Detailed recordkeeping and good organizational habits are essential in any legal practice, and if these are in place, crucial mistakes can be avoided. For example, it is important for an attorney to be aware of a time deadline, and it must be calendared correctly. If a calendar entry is not made properly, down the road the lawyer may not know about a deadline, may not correctly calculate when one was to occur or may be unclear about which deadlines should apply to a particular matter. In a worst-case scenario, the attorney is aware of a calendared deadline and simply fails to react to it.

The recourse for victims of lawyer malpractice

Your case may be adversely and irreversibly harmed if your attorney failed to anticipate and meet deadlines, or otherwise fails to provide competent counsel and representation. If you wish to put forth a legal malpractice claim, you will need to show that you have experienced tangible economic loss, and that a different outcome might have been achieved by a competent attorney. You have a right to be heard, and an attorney experienced with handling legal malpractice lawsuits is standing by to help.

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